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MetroPCS Withdraws Legal Claims Against Federal Communications Commission Net Neutrality Rules

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WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 -- Wireless provider MetroPCS moved last Friday to dismiss its claims in the lawsuit challenging the Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality laws.

In the motion, MetroPCS, which recently merged with T-Mobile, noted that the FCC and the Department of Justice had already consented to the dismissal. Additionally, Verizon Communications, which is also taking part in the case, is aware and will not object. Verizon will continue to pursue the litigation.

The two parties filed the case in 2011 to challenge the open internet rules that had been formally passed by the FCC in December 2010, then under then-Chairman Julius Genachowski . The three-judge panel that will hear the case in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet been selected, nor is there a date yet for the beginning of the oral arguments, although it is expected to be set around September.  The judges are expected to produce a ruling sometime in the fall or winter.

The FCC put their net neutrality rules forward in an attempt to promote competition and protect consumer choices. As a result of the regulations, broadband providers are required to disclose information regarding their network management practices and performance.

They are also prohibited from blocking legal, content, applications, services, or devices, and from unreasonable discrimination of network traffic, such as slowing or degrading particular services or websites.

In a press release issued last Friday, his last day at the agency, Genachowski praised the decision to withdraw from the lawsuit and asserted the importance of the net neutrality laws.

“Since 2010, our strong and balanced rules have been protecting entrepreneurs and consumers, and have increased certainty and predictability for investors in Internet services as well as networks,” Genachowski said.

Josh Evans is a political science major at Grove City College. He is originally from Dover, Florida. An intern at the National Journalism Center in the summer of 2013, he is a Reporter for Broadband Census News and the News Editor for The Collegian at Grove City College.

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